By G Oguda
My father has just called me from the village asking if I am safe. He says they have just watched Raila Odinga being teargassed on television and that the people down in my village aren’t happy with that footage.
He has asked me whose idea it was to teargas Raila Odinga; and I have told him I was in meetings the whole day, I haven’t even got time to watch the news.
Raila Odinga is not Uhuru Kenyatta or William Ruto whom you can slap in the face and life goes on like nothing happened. If anything happens to Raila Odinga right now – and this is not any whimsical scaremongering – I am not even sure my quiet village of Jimo, in the rocky terrains of Seme, will be a safe place to stay in. It is in the interest of every Kenyan, therefore, regardless of which corner of this country you come from, to try and plead with this government to safeguard the security, and life, of Raila Odinga – with evrything they have.
In 1968, when New York Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian immigrant living in NY, the Laws governing the US Secret Service were immediately repealed to allow for the round-the-clock Secret Service protection of presidential candidates and their family members. Prior to the repealing of that Act, presidential candidates, and their families, did not receive Secret Service protection.
While assenting to the new amendment, then president Lyndon Johnson said, and I quote; “protection of a candidate/nominee is designed to maintain the integrity of the democratic process and continuity of government…”
And it is not only in America that the assassination of a presidential candidate will interfere with the ‘continuity of government’. My father tells me that I am young to know these things, but if anything happens to Raila Odinga right now, even if he was to be swept away by the raging floods while sleeping in his Karen home, this country will not be the same again.
September 3, 1939 Sir. Winston Churchill stepped into a stormy House of Commons and delivered the Speech aptly named the ‘War Speech’, in which he cried, and I quote;
“…this is not a question of fighting for Danzig or fighting for Poland. We are fighting to save the whole world from the pestilence of Nazi tyranny and in defense of all that is most sacred to man. This is no war of domination or imperial aggrandizement or material gain; It is a war, viewed in its inherent quality, to establish, on impregnable rocks, the rights of the individual, and it is a war to establish and revive the stature of man.”
It is exactly 5 days to the 71st anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s death. If Nazi Germany fell, and Hitler drank cynanide poison in a lonely bunker canoodling his wife, I can assure you here, and now, that no tyranny lasts forever. ‘A drunken fowl has not met a mad fox.’
“If we rise, we rise with honour. If we fall, it must be so.” – Aristophanes; The Frogs.